Twenty one, fifteeen, and nine heavy deadlifts and high box jumps are nothing new.
In 2011, the Regional competitors faced the same event. That year, Austin Malleolo set the men’s Event Record at 2:56, and Annie Thorisdottir set the women’s Event Record at 2:57.
Until this afternoon, no man or woman had surpassed the 2011 Event Records at any 2013 Regional Competition.
Notably, while the Event is the same on paper it’s different in practice. In 2013, the athletes start further from the box at the white “21.” Each round, they must advance the barbell to the correct number on the stall mat. In 2011, the athletes didn’t have to mess with that.
That’s 12 seconds off of Annie Thorisdottir’s 2011 Event Record (2:57), 22 seconds off of the previous 2013 Event Record held by Erin Clancy of the North East (3:07), and 42 seconds off of her time in 2011 (3:27).
And Akinwale isn’t the only one who has gotten better since 2011. Her Event winning time in 2011 would have earned 4th in 2013.
At the start of the Event, Akinwale, Stacie Tovar, and Deb Corder Carson pulled the 205-pound deadlifts in almost perfect unison. Tovar and Cordner Carson finished the 21 deadlifts before Akinwale, but Akinwale wasn’t far behind.
During the dreaded 15s, Akinwale started to establish her lead and by the 9s she was significantly ahead of the rest. Despite a no rep on her final box jump, she stayed composed, jumped one last time, and hit the finish mat.
Akinwale attributes her success to her rehab work.
“For me, I’m kind of in a unique place. I think a lot of people know I don’t have an ACL in my left knee and I’ve had seven surgeries. So I’ve actually done a lot of single leg work this year that’s helped that leg catch up to my right leg. So one of the areas that’s helped out a lot on is box jumps. That’s one thing that made a difference in this workout from my time two years ago – is that single leg work,” Akinwale said after Event 5.
Tovar stumbled on her last set of box jumps, but stayed ahead of Cordner Carson. Tovar hit the finish mat at 3:11 for 2nd, and Cordner Carson followed eight seconds later for 3rd.
Tovar took 47 seconds off of her time from 2011.
“It’s amazing how after being in this sport for five years, I am still seeing gains and improvement. After yesterday, I can’t afford to lose reps. It appears that 1st is right at my fingertips,” Tovar said.
Cordner Carson took 22 seconds off of her time from 2011, but her coach Tyler Quinn says that’s far from her PR.
“Her previous PR in training is 2:58,” Quinn says. “Deb suffered a mild injury to the right ankle which really threw off her jumps.”
1. Elisabeth Akinwale (2:45)
2. Stacie Tovar (3:11)
3. Deborah Cordner Carson (3:19)
“This workout really tests the posterior chain,” Phillip Kniep said. “It’s going to be a sprint, like 2011.”
Entering the Event, Justin Allen was determined to make his move. In 2011, he took 2nd on the Event.
“It’s gonna be nasty and I’ve got to make a move there,” he said.
At the 30-second warning, the top men of North Central cinched their belts. At 3-2-1..Go, they stepped off the starting mats and drew in a deep breath as they gripped the 315 lb. bar.
Alex Nettey and Justin Allen were the first to return to the bar for the 15’s, with Kasperbauer close behind.
Allen, hitching the weight, gave Kasperbauer an opportunity to get to the box jumps before him. Kasperbauer had two no-reps in the set. Kasperbauer held the lead through the 9 deadlifts, executing them quickly and proficiently.
Kasperbauer got to the jumps but was no-repped again as Nettey took off to the 30” box. Nettey stumbled and tipped his box as Kasperbauer paused and tore off his belt. That pause ended up costing Kasperbauer as Nettey righted his balance and jumped off the box onto the finish mat in 4:04, winning the heat.
“When I finished, it was just energy through the roof,” Nettey said. “I could hear my box mates cheering me on. When the sets got tough I felt their energy and was using it. It’s one of those spontaneous combustion emotions. That’s what we train for. You don’t hit that zone very often and I was on workout mode. I had planned to break the deadlifts up several times and I just lost it when I got going. I can’t explain it - I wish you could bottle that up and use it whenever you want.”
Nine seconds later, Allen and Kasperbauer jumped onto their finish mat at the same time to tie for 2nd in the Event.
“Everybody is so smoked right now, but it was good to do them all unbroken,”
Kasperbauer was happy to have gone unbroken on the first set of deadlifts but was feeling the fatigue from Event 4.
“I would have done this 45 seconds quicker if I were fresh,” Kasperbauer said.
1. Alex Nettey (4:04)
2T. Justin Allen (4:13)
2T. Kyle Kasperbauer (4:13)
The weights were different, but the pain remained the same on the team side of the competition. For Team Event 5
, the teams chose one man and one woman to step up to the barbell for deadlifts (275 lbs. for men, 185 lbs. for women) and box jumps (30 inches for men, 24 inches for women). The man went first, and the woman second.
The men hit the deadlifts at a steady pace with CrossFit St.Paul’s Ross Tomaszewski going unbroken, ready for the box jumps. But it wasn’t until QCCF-Live Uncommon’s Sinan Gocman started quickly rebounding the box jumps that any team showed a clear lead. Gocman finished his half of the couplet in 3:21.
The lead shifted as the women took over. Soon, CrossFit Kilo was in the lead as teammate Sonia Rodriguez sped through the couplet. She took the lead during the 21s, and never let go.
“Back in 2011, when Ian and Jess did this workout, I could not deadlift 185 lbs. even once,” Rodriguez said. “We knew today that anything less than unbroken was going to lose it for us. That was the only strategy, don’t put the bar down, don’t stop.”
CrossFit Kilo won the Event with a time of 7:20.
That means that Rodriguez moved the 315-pound barbell to the starting position, stripped the weight, and completed her section of the Event in just 3:59.
Twenty seconds later, QCCF hit the finish mat for second, just six seconds ahead of CrossFit ICE and CrossFit St Paul (3rd, 7:46).
“To prepare for this Event, we train heavy, train hard. There’s no plan, just go,“ QCCF’s Gocmen said. “We stayed focused and stayed smooth through to the finish. We couldn’t be happier.”
“I want a cupcake,” QCCF teammate Theresa Meisenbach said after the Event.
Team Event 5
1. CrossFit Kilo (7:20)
2. QCCF-Live Uncommon (7:40)
3T. CrossFit St. Paul (7:46)
3T. CrossFit Ice-STL (7:46)
Justin Allen holds onto first with 26 points. After Event 5, Alex Nettey climbed from 4th to 2nd overall (31 points), and Kyle Kasperbauer climbed from 5th to 3rd (33 points). Brandon Pastorek sits 10 points outside of the cut in 4th.
Allen’s coach, Dennis Berry, has told him to, “Wake up, rinse, and repeat tomorrow.” We’ll see if he can hold on through Events 6 and 7.
Elisabeth Akinwale has won four of the five Events, but she sits in 3rd overall due to an 11th place finish on the burpee muscle-up (she completed 22 burpee muscle-ups in the 7-minute time cap). Deb Cordner Carson and Stacie Tovar haven’t been able to wrangle many Event wins from Akinwale, but their consistency across Events has paid off in the overall standings.
Cordner Carson leads with 11 points and Tovar follows in 2nd with 14 points, and Akinwale holds a close third with 15 points. Ginny King is not far behind (4th, 23 points).
On the team side, QCCF Live Uncommon continues to reign with just 11 points, but CrossFit Kilo is breathing down their necks with 12 points. CrossFit 515 rounds out the top three with 20 points, followed by CrossFit St. Paul (4th, 28 points) and Koda CrossFit (5th, 29 points).